In the Spotlight

News & Features
Treaty Rights and Tribal Sovereignty
A Mainstreet Radio Special Broadcast
Tuesday, April 21, 1998
Live from the Minnesota History Center's
Mille Lacs Indian Museum

Click for audio HOUR 1 - HOUR 2
(RealAudio 2.0 14.4)

HOUR 1: History, Culture, and Biology of Native Harvest

Mille Lacs Commissioner of Natural Resources Don Wedll

Mille Lacs Band elder and spearfisherman Doug Sam

DNR Treaty biologist Henry Van Offelen

A discussion of history - netting and spearing in the old days - with elder and lifelong Mille Lacs resident Doug Sam. Sam quit fishing decades ago when the state imposed regulations, but he's started again since the 1837 Treaty was upheld and says it feels good to handle a spear again.

Don Wedll , who wrote a history of the Mille Lacs Band, talks about the Tribal Conservation Code - the fishing and hunting rules and regulations by which the Band must operate.

The state opposed tribal efforts to get the 1837 Treaty upheld, but, since losing the case, has worked with the Band to develop harvest and enforcement strategies. DNR biologist Van Offelen is familiar with the conservation code and talks about the effects of gillnetting and spearfishing on ceded waters.

HOUR 2: Sovereignty

Henry Buffalo, Native attorney from Minneapolis, sovereignty expert, and member of the Red Cliff Ojibwa band.

Mille Lacs attorney Jim Genia

Hamline law professor Mary Jo Brooks Hunter; she's also Chief Tribal Judge for the Ho Chunk Band in Wisconsin.

Guests also include Marvin Manypenny, White Earth member, advocate for more tribal autonomy and Bill Lawrence, an opponent of native sovereignty who is a Red Lake member and publisher of Ojibwa News.

The discussion provides historical context for sovereignty: how did the concept of nations-within-a-nation develop? How does sovereignty work on reservations? What kinds of checks and balances exist in a government like Mille Lacs? A variety of arguments regarding the value of sovereignty are presented.

Phoned-in questions from listeners are part of both hours.

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